Brace yourselves! Amazon, the E-commerce giant, led by Jeff Bezos is running the largest sweepstakes in history to see which U.S. city will be the winner of their new headquarters, dubbed “HQ2”. They are posed to make this decision by the end of the year and have the competing cities currently lowered down substantially to a handful, including our beloved Boston. While this may not be news to you, the impact of this choice – if it should be our hometown – could cause a ripple effect that could very well impact your small or medium-sized business. Do you understand the effect this choice could have on your business and your IT needs? Will you need to expand to accommodate new clients, employees, or computer networks? The “Amazon Effect” has impacted the way consumers shop since it debuted in 1994. Included in the changes to online shopping practices are the changes that transformed the city chosen to be its original headquarters, Seattle, Washington. The previously sleepy warehouse district known as South Lake Union in Seattle has since changed economically, environmentally, and in a million other ways, for which the residents and business owners of Boston should prepare if Amazon chooses “Beantown” as the new HQ2. Some of the ways that Seattle transformed include:
Massive economic growth in the surrounding areas of Seattle
Influx of new residents
Increase in the demand for housing
Increase in housing prices
Increase in payscale for workers
Skyrocketing housing prices
Adjustments by surrounding businesses to new customers/clients and competition
Increase in homelessness
Increase in third party contractors for construction, deliveries, and maintenance.
Perpetual construction due in part because of Amazon and in part due to new businesses flooding into the area trying to gain a piece of the pie
Congealed traffic nightmares causing even more strain on the infrastructure
Knowing the tradeoffs of both the positive and negative effects that Seattle experienced after Amazon’s HQ1 sprouted, what should Bostonians expect, or prepare for, if our city is “the chosen one”? With 50,000 new jobs expected and billions of investments proposed, Boston should plan for both massive economic growth and the growing pains that are accompanied by such increases. In fact, there will be a ripple effect that most likely will impact all parts of your business. At Spectra we plan to prepare by staying on top of IT changes due to a growth in employees, small/medium-sized businesses, increased security risks, mergers of networks, strains on Wi-Fi, and competition for trained technical employees. Is your business forward-thinking and wondering how the “Amazon Effect” may impact your company? Call Call Spectra Networks at 978.219.9752, or visit our website at Spectra Networks to stay on top of the potential changes that could affect our region in the coming year.